January 5, 2013

Having a debt ceiling at all is like having slavery, or something … [Darleen Click]

Oh good lord.

“Sometimes when we’ve gotten great answers is when presidents have had enough authority to take some actions,” Davis told TheDC on Capitol Hill Friday. “I mean, remember that we just celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and if Abraham Lincoln had not had the power, authority and the will to make that decision, we may have gone on with the war that was going to last several additional years and much longer, and thousands and thousands of people could have and would have, in all probability, lost their lives.”

“So, I think that we should have enough faith and confidence in the president and the president ought to have the authority to make that decision without Congress placing limits or determinates or determinations, and so yes, I think the president should have the ability to make that decision.”

Posted by Darleen @ 2:43pm

Tags: , , ,

Comments (65)

  1. This just proves that Barclay’s really does own me.


  2. – Next up on Ophra: “The root cause of Global warming – Conservative racism.”

  3. Being in disastrously deep fucking debt for money YOU didn’t spend, or benefit much, if any, from is a lot like slavery.

  4. Apparently being really fucking stupid is a lot like slavery.

  5. Democrats like and promote both, beemoe. Synergy is involved.

  6. ” Oh come on. I’m not really fucking stupid. Kind of fucking stupid I’ll reluctantly grant you but ‘really’ is pushing it too far…, ” he attention whored, drowsily.

    (Also, fuck Lincoln).

  7. It isn’t about slavery, but about the exigent use of a clear Presidential war power under the role of commander-in-chief in the case of the Emancipation Proclamation, a power explicitly granted the Executive in the 2nd Art. of the Constitution (and in the theoretical discussions of the framers prior to the final draft and ratification of the Constitution) vs. a seizure of powers denied the Executive but explicitly granted to Congress in Article 1 of that same Constitution. Fuck, can’t these Congresspeople read?

    And who the hell does he mean by “we” when he says “… an expression of the kind of power that we were willing and are willing to provide the President”?

  8. If I were guessing, I’d say he has a mouse in his pocket.

  9. “exigent”

    Pretty sure that word is racist.

  10. (Also, fuck Lincoln).

    One Johnson, two Roosevelts and a Wilson are ahead of Lincoln on that particular list.

  11. One Johnson, two Roosevelts and a Wilson are ahead of Lincoln on that particular list.

    I always gave Theodore Roosevelt a pass because he started (I’m pretty sure) the NRA, was a man’s man and a general bad ass.

    Wilson I think was particularly unsuited to the times. Pretty much exactly like how Obama is unsuited to ours, only with Persians instead of Germans…

  12. wiki

    The National Rifle Association was first chartered in the state of New York on November 17, 1871.[6] by Army and Navy Journal editor William Conant Church and General George Wood Wingate. Its first President was Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, who had worked as a Rhode Island gunsmith, and Wingate was the original Secretary of the organization. Church succeeded Burnside as President in the following year.

  13. I am just trying to figure out which is more fucked up: comparing raising the debt ceiling to abolishing slavery, or thinking the Emancipation Proclamation shortened the war by several years and saved thousands and thousands of lives.

  14. Oh, thanks newrouter.

    There is this, Roosevelt became a NRA life member while in office…

  15. beemoe,

    Apparently being really fucking stupid is a lot like slavery.

    I think it’s now blindingly obvious that being really fucking stupid is no impediment to be elected, and re-elected, to Congress.

  16. I always gave Theodore Roosevelt a pass because he started (I’m pretty sure) the NRA, was a man’s man and a general bad ass.

    He was a badass at media manipulation, but not much else. Most, if not all of his public persona was a complete fraud.

    He was a Harvard frat boy to the core who had a tennis court installed at the White House in secret while he staged publicity shots of himself as the Great White Hunter.

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  18. I thought TR shot a lot of the animals that are inthe Museum of Natural History in NYC. Or is that fiction, too?

    He was a gloryhound. Most of us don’t have the means to the likenesses of great presidents carved at Mt. Rushmore and have our own shoehorned into the design.

  19. Harvard frat boys liked to shoot defenseless animals in TR’s day. It’s fair to say he was pretty bad-ass.

  20. He was a lousy father. But as a poster boy for a Man’ Man, he was a bad ass.

  21. I think most of his animals are in the Smithsonian, but maybe I’m wrong. And I’m pretty sure TR was dead before Borglum started his work, which is a piece of it’s time.

  22. He was a lousy father

    Alice may have thought so, maybe Theodore Jr., too. Not sure the other kids would have agreed.

  23. I’ve never set foot in the museums in NYC, so I am going on what I had (mis?)heard. I have seen pictures and they are all in the style of dioramas as is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. You are most likely right about the animals being in the Smithsonian, Ernst. We never seemed to be able to drag the kids past the dinosaur bones, sarcophogai and trains to see them.

  24. OT: Rejoice ice hockey (hice hockey for you, Lee) players league and owners end stand-off.

  25. I know for a fact TR’s elephant is in the rotunda of the American Museum of Natural History.

    –at least it was in 1989. Today?

  26. Aha! I last saw that elephant in 1998.

  27. Have any of you guys read into T.R.’s biography, auto or otherwise, and seen there any account of the genesis of Roosevelt’s attachment to Progressivism (I have not, to say bluntly)? So far as I can see from a cursory glance, he appears to wield the term ‘progressive’ far more as a rhetorical club (and a dishonest one such, at that), than speak to the fundamental theoretical differences underlying the roots of Progressivism as contrasted with the principles of America’s founding. I wouldn’t say he’s utterly dishonest, since what’s the point of political rhetoric in the first instance if not lying in some form or other, but T. R. doesn’t come across as the sharpest political theorist in the toolbox. Anyhow, just curious.

  28. What I have read about TR, and it is not a great deal, suggests that Progressivism to him is a rhetorical device and not an ideology, as you say sdferr. We were moving out of the Gilded Age at that time (correct me if I am off on that) and into the Age of Industry and a higher standard of living for all. We were expanding into the West at higher numbers, as well. The massive wave of European immigration was upsetting the apple cart for the Bosses in NYC as there was new competition for the protection rackets. NYC itself became much larger as it tacked the 5 burroughs together and became Gotham.

    TR has never struck me as being visionary and instead ushered in a great deal of federal control under his watch. In that sense, he was a ‘progressive’, but I think it was his ego not an ideology, per se.

  29. Ha! There’s that word [ideology] again. I really should do something about my stupid fixation.

  30. It’s not a a stupid fixation. Principles is indeed what I should have said. I like it when you call people out about throwing around values and culture and shape shifting what they mean by that. It keeps me focused on the bastardization of the language.

  31. But if I’m not completely crazy (and I may be, who knows, I certainly don’t), the centerpiece of my obsession regarding such terms of political rhetoric is the “why” of this nominal bastardization . . . or maybe whether we should see to the other question “Is this an unfathered, unwed birth at all, or is it rather merely an appearance of bastardy, i.e., not bastardy in the least, but the result of quite intentional motion?” first?

    And that question, as well as the answer to that question is what appears to me to get lost in the fog — or wherein we are intentionally disoriented by the dizzying, topsy-turvy turning about.

    On the other hand, there’s that the odd re-appearance of sexual desire sitting quietly fomenting trouble at the heart of political affairs. Bugger all.

  32. I’m going to admit that I may be a little crazy or different as they say in these parts. However, the husband who pays no attention to etymology, language tense and structure and hates reading for pleasure has taken notice of the increasing–inverting (maybe?), the deliberate twisting of meaning and words to serve a different purpose than they were intended.

    It’s not just us.

  33. A quick overview of TR, with bits suggesting the 1908 progressive (and environmentalist) ain’t the same as todays (I’ll place emphasis for what I mean)

    -As a young boy, Theodore Rooseveltspent a lot of time inside his family’s handsome brownstone, homeschooled due to his illnesses and asthma. This gave him the opportunity to nurse his passion for animal life, but by his teens, with the encouragement of his father, whom he revered, Theodore developed a rigorous physical routine that included weightlifting and boxing.

    -Roosevelt didn’t stay long at law school, opting instead to join the New York State Assembly as a representative from New York City—becoming the youngest to serve in that position. Not long after, Roosevelt was speeding through various public service positions, including captain of the National Guard and minority leader of the New York Assembly. However, the tragic deaths of his mother and his wife, which occured on the same day (February 14, 1884), propelled Roosevelt to leave for the Dakota Territory for two years. There, he lived as a cowboy and cattle rancher, leaving his infant daughter in the care of his elder sister.

    -Returning to political life in 1886, Roosevelt was defeated for the New York City mayorship. Roosevelt soon resumed his career trajectory, first as a civil service commissioner, then as a New York City police commissioner and U.S. Navy assistant secretary under President William McKinley.

    Taking a keen interest in the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt left his government post to organize a volunteer cavalry known as the Rough Riders, which he led in a bold charge up San Juan Hill in the Battle of San Juan Heights, in 1898. A war hero, and nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in 1898.

    -Roosevelt’s progressive policies in New York ran him afoul of his own party, so Republican Party bosses plotted to quiet him by naming him on the McKinley ticket in the thankless post of vice president. However, after his re-election in 1901, President McKinley was assassinated.

    -Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency is distinguished by his dedication to prosecuting monopolies under the Sherman Antitrust Act. Out of this commitment grew a benchmark of his first term, the “Square Deal”—a domestic program that embraced reform of the American workplace, government regulation of industry and consumer protection, with the overall aim of helping the middle class

    -He bulked up the U.S. Navy and created the “Great White Fleet,” sending it on a world tour as a testament to U.S. military power

    -also helped expedite completion of the Panama Canal, a vital conduit allowing ships to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in half the time previously required

    -was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his role in negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

    -Roosevelt has been called the nation’s first modern president, in part because he dealt with many of the issues that we still grapple with today. His civil rights record is notable, and he supported desegregation and women’s suffrage. He also defended Minnie Cox, who experienced racial discrimination in the South while working as a postmaster, and was the first to entertain an African-American, Booker T. Washington, as a guest at the White House

    -Roosevelt has also been deemed the country’s first environmentalist president. In 1906, he signed the National Monuments Act, protecting sites like the Grand Canyon and preserving countless wildlife sanctuaries, national forests and federal game reserves. He also made headway with the nation’s infrastructure, instigating 21 federal irrigation projects.

    -During his presidential term, the White House—although he hired the most illustrious architects of the time, McKim Mead and White, to renovate the decrepit mansion—also served as a lively playground for the Roosevelts’ six children; due in no small part to the president’s passion for sports and books, each room of the home was enlivened with activity, from crawl space to library. “Giving the pony a ride in the elevator was but one of many stunts” of the (Theodore) Roosevelt White House

    -Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose Party, and began campaigning for the 1912 election. While delivering a speech on the campaign trail, Roosevelt was shot in the chest in an assassination attempt by John Nepomuk Schrank. Shockingly, he continued his speech for 90 minutes before seeing a doctor, later chalking up the incident to the hazards of the business.

    Roosevelt lost to Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 election, in a rather close popular vote

    -When WWI loomed on the horizon, Roosevelt became frustrated with Wilson’s stance on neutrality. In 1914, when war was finally inevitable, Roosevelt requested the president’s permission to head a volunteer division for service in France in World War I, but Wilson declined.

    Roosevelt was proud that all four of his sons enlisted for service during WWI, but brokenhearted when his youngest son, Quentin, was shot and killed in Germany.

    -Roosevelt published more than 25 books about a range of subjects, including history, biology, geography and philosophy. He also published a biography and an autobiography, including The Winning of the West, comprised of four volumes.

    -Although he was denied the Congressional Medal of Honor for the Battle of San Juan Heights, Roosevelt posthumously received the honor—the highest award for military service in the United States—more than 100 years later, on January 16, 2001; Roosevelt was the first president to receive the Medal of Honor, conferred by President Bill Clinton.

  34. I have read a bit about TR in various sources down through the years, this picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/22/TR_Buckskin_Tiffany_Knife.jpg

    and the caption,

    Theodore Roosevelt as the Badlands hunter. Theodore Roosevelt is seen with his highly-decorated deer-skin hunting suit, and carved Tiffany hunting knife and rifle. Photographed by George Grantham Baine in 1885 in New York City. Public domain from many sources.

    pretty much sum up my impressions of him.

    He owned some dude ranches, liked to go on guided, catered hunting expeditions and pose for tony NY photographers.

    He was also a flaming racist, imperialist, eugenist and proto-fascist.

  35. A telling passage, I think, in which Teddy speaks (my emphasis):

    They did not see that the right to use one’s property as one will can be maintained only so long as it is consistent with the maintenance of certain fundamental human rights, of the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or, as we may restate them in these later days, of the rights of the worker to a living wage, to reasonable hours of labor, to decent working and living conditions, to freedom of thought and speech and industrial representation,—in short, to a measure of industrial democracy and, in return for his arduous toil, to a worthy and decent life according to American standards. Still another thing these great business leaders did not see. They did not see that both their interests and the interests of the workers must be accommodated, and if need be, subordinated, to the fundamental permanent interests of the whole community. No man and no group of men may so exercise their rights as to deprive the nation of the things which are necessary and vital to the common life. A strike which ties up the coal supplies of a whole section is a strike invested with a public interest.

  36. Very interesting sdferr. Was TR a reader of Marx by any chance?

  37. I am sure he was leigh. He was no doubt intelligent, well read and well educated.

  38. Well, I’m sure he’d waste no time assuring us that what all of the above was true.

    I have no love for TR. He always seemed . . . inauthentic, I suppose. It’s easy to pretend to be a Great White Hunter and an Indian Guide and all that other nonsense when your bills are paid and you have a leasure to run off on adventures instead of doing mundane stuff like working and putting things on lay-away.

  39. He owned some dude ranches, liked to go on guided, catered hunting expeditions

    Heh. These days they call that “roughing it”.

    The average middle class hunter now uses the 300 horses under the hood of his leather upholstered, navigation equipped, Chevy to pull a 28″ fifth wheel trailer with it’s flushing toilet, shower, kitchen with refrigeration/ice maker, flat screen TV with satellite dish and DRV, along with a generator to light it all up, to a campground with water taps at every site where they get on their 4×4 ATV, grab their rifle set up with a high power scope that features variable focal and a range finder, and a hundred newly manufactured cartridges, adjusts his snazzy new Cabela’s thermal camos around his belt holding up a 1911 .45, Rambo knife, bear spray, and cell phone , and sets off to slay the wily buck.

    Todays proggs are thinly disguised commies, but in 1900 industrialization was at full throttle and something like the square deal [I think can be argued] was necessary to avoid a class system akin to what was in Europe at the time.

  40. I think Roosevelt as a progressive sincerely wanted the average man to be upwardly mobile. Modern progressives are collectivists, and want to stop upward mobility altogether. I think it may be a tad unfair to link TR to Marx.

  41. Lee

    whatever TR’s intentions, his stated sentiment that individual rights must sometimes be “subordinated” for the public good is what leads us to today.

  42. Roosevelt didn’t hold with Marxist Socialism. He said so, and we can take him at his word. Ah, but he did not mention that there were two competing streams flowing from the teacher Saint-Simon, one Karl Marx, the other Auguste Comte. And there, I think, we have it.

  43. Woo-boy. We sure do. Thanks, sdferr.

  44. “. . . as we may restate them in these later days . . .”

    I think we can fairly describe this bald assertion as either insouciant or cavalier, on account of the want of a careful examination by Roosevelt of the implications of so casually granting himself such a right. I’m inclined to reject ‘insouciant’ on the grounds of a certain taint of femininity nestling in the term, and no one would like to call vigorous Teddy anything like feminine, whereas cavalier has something close to the Chevalier associated with it, and this is apt, as the Horseman, manly riding in roughshod over all that is right and good, trampling carefully delineated principles simply because he is on the horse and you are not.

  45. In place of the church, he felt the direction of society should fall to the men of science. Men who are fitted to organize society for productive labour are entitled to rule it.


  46. yikes

    I’m sayin’. Taking Comte seriously is a trip. And not to a good place, either.

  47. TR’s progressivism was Bismarkian socialism and the heady fin-de-siecle modernist(ic) cult of Progress! which he imbibed, along with all the other leady figures of his generation, with the probable exception of W. J.Bryant in his Ivy League school days.

    Gramsci’s wasn’t the first march through the institutions.

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  49. Some thoughts on TR [BTW: I’ve enjoyed reading the comments on him here]…

    -TR reminds me of H.G. Wells in his Leftism [especially the Science As God foolishness]. I see him more as a Fascist than a Socialist. He did not want to ultimately do away with private property, but, in the name of ‘fairness’ control what owners could do with their property – that’s Fascism [perhaps he was a Fabian, but I’m feeling charitable this Sunday].

    -From reading Edmund Morris’s biographies, I’d say there’s evidence he did admire Bismarck.

    -TR was a spoiled rotten brat who, though he may have read a lot, seems to me to have been a skimmer – that type of Narcissist who absorbs only that knowledge which is useful in his schemes and strokes his ego and provides him with rhetorical ammunition.

    -There was TR’s way and no other. He was nothing but a juvenile cretin who, in his retarded thinking, bought into the Progressive con and wreaked havoc with the Office Of The President Of The United States.

    -His run in 1912 allowed Leftist Woodrow Wilson to win. His run, when studied, seems more like a tantrum than a principled endeavor.

  50. I’m not sure whether you’re calling TR a fascist of H.G.W., Bob. In any event Harry Turtledove had TR’s United States side with the Prussians against the Confederacy and the Anglo-French Alliance, if I remember correctly (not having read his alternate historical fiction).

    Everyone admired Bismark, because the Prussian Rechtsstaat was the future at the end of the last century before last.

    I agree with you that he was more fox than hedgehog –interesting counterpoint, along with Reagan, to Isaiah Berlin’s preference for foxes over hedgehogs.

  51. He owned some dude ranches, liked to go on guided, catered hunting expeditions and pose for tony NY photographers.

    He was a dandy who dressed part, but his ranch was a working ranch and he was a working ranchman. He went bankrupt working that ranch, along with a lot of other cattlemen, large and small, in 1888 (I think).

    Ranch Life and The Hunting Trail (often published together) are good reads.

  52. but his ranch was a working ranch and he was a working ranchman.

    Yeah, so was Al Gore. ;p

  53. He went bankrupt working that ranch,

    tr corp went bankrupt. the house on li is doing fine.

  54. One of the things that galled Roosevelt the most was financier J. P. Morgan’s insistence that he and the president could work out a backroom deal to solve the problem. “Have your man get in touch with my man and fix it,” Morgan said. To Roosevelt, it was obscene that big business would presume to be the equal of the government.


  55. The Robber Barons were Badasses (capital B). TR was a punk compared to them.

  56. To Roosevelt, it was obscene that big business would presume to be the equal of the government.

    Well, we have a lot more experience with both big government and big business than either TR or J. P. Morgan.

    And in TR’s defense, nobody’s writing songs about owing your soul to the government store.


  57. TR was a punk compared to them.

    Did you not read the story about John Nepomuk Schrank?

  58. And in TR’s defense, nobody’s writing songs about owing your soul to the government store.


    nyet. the commies control the info
    System.out = file(“bad commie info”, true)

  59. Yes, I read it Lee. That was badass, indeed.

  60. wiki proggtards

    The 1912 Presidential election campaign was characterised by a serious split in the Republican Party between the conservative wing under President William Howard Taft and the liberal/reform wing under ex-President Theodore Roosevelt. After a bitter confrontation at the Republican Convention, Taft won renomination. Roosevelt led a bolt of his followers, who held a convention and nominated him for President on the ticket of the Progressive Party, nicknamed the “Bull Moose Party.” Taft and his supporters attacked Roosevelt for being power-hungry, and seeking to break the tradition that U.S. Presidents only serve up to two terms in office.

  61. leigh, I don’t know about his other credentials, but if you ever read “African Game Trails”, and some of the comments on it by such people as professional hunter Peter Capstick, his “Great White Hunter” credentials were solidly earned, and he seems to have at least known when he was on territory he was unfamiliar with and thus willing to listen to those who had more knowledge.

  62. Well, SDN I admitted I haven’t read much about TR and most of it was in the hagiographical vein of a hero worshiping author. I’ll look into some more information about him. It could be, as often happens to me, that I am wrong about him.

    Thanks for the reference. It sounds interesting.

  63. But then again: fuck you.